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Centre based Rehabilitation
The three centres provide services for 276 children with various disabilities such as: blindness, deafness, visual, hearing, speech and mental impairment, cerebral palsy and other multi-disabilities. The centre is equipped with modern up-to-date technology including computers, braillers, tactile maps, mobility aids, play materials and specialist dark rooms.
Field workers from Ashirvad Trust travel to villages to identify those with disabilities that have needs unmet. Their aim is to achieve holistic rehabilitation. The field workers provide initial training in the home environment on basic personal hygiene and social skills. In many cases parents have neglected these children due to financial constraints and social stigma.
After foundational training, the children and parents are brought to one of the centres for a medical and developmental assessment. A personal plan is developed for their multi-disciplinary rehabilitation programme. The team consisting of doctors including ENT and orthopaedic specialists, neurologists, psychiatrists along with psychologists, professional teachers and physiotherapists put together a comprehensive and personalised programme for rehabilitation.
Community based Rehabilitation
Many people are unable to travel or attend a day care centre for numerous reasons, such as severe disabilities, living in remote areas, family obligations and severe poverty. Funding from Gujarat Government and Department of Social Justice and Empowerment allows the Ashirvad Trust to provide rehabilitation services for over 2200 disabled people across Surendranagar county at their own doorsteps.
Empowering independance and self-sufficency
Mobility camps have been conducted throughout Gujarat and as far afield as Kenya in Africa, by the Ashirvad Trust. Where a need is identified, the population in the local vicinity to the camp are screened and a functional assessment is made in the home environment of individuals requiring mobility assistance. Equipment such as wheelchairs, tricycles, callipers, artificial limbs, CT chairs, crutches, hearing aids and educational kits are subsequently distributed.
Training in crafts and vocations is provided to deaf, blind or otherwise disabled adults to empower them and aid economic self-sufficiency. They are given workshops in trades such as tailoring, bead work, beauty care, henna art (mehndi), cooking, knitting, jute work, mobile phone repairing, repair of diesel engines and scooters. Traders are often donated market carts and crafts men and women their sewing machines to help them get started in business.
The Ashirvad Centre provides a physiotherapy service free of charge to the local community, where the physiotherapists provide assessment, advice and treatment for those with disabilities. Many visitors are impressed and inspired by the fact that the qualified physiotherapist here is blind. In addition, patients are referred from the Community Health Centre for physiotherapy following accidents, injuries or after surgery. Last year, 1118 individuals used this service.
Training Centre for field workers
The Ashirvad Trust is a recognised agency for conducting training for disability field workers and is a human resource training centre. People from Indian disability-related institutions regularly attend training days and field visits held by Ashirvad. Nurses and paramedics in training are sent from colleges in Rajkot and Surendranagar to observe Ashirvad staff and to learn how to communicate with, and manage those, with mental and physical disability.
Self Help Groups
17 Self Help groups have been set up with a total of 252 members. The groups encourage self-sufficiency and women empowerment. The groups gather regularly and participate in collective saving schemes, provide financial support to one another, spread awareness of disability, help integrate disabled women into the community and take part in crafts and small entreprenurial pursuits to strengthen their family livelihoods.
Social Awareness Programme
To build awareness of disability issues, the Ashirvad Trust conducts workshops and presentations to inform and connect with society. Midwives, panchyat officers (community leaders), police, judges and magistrates are trained to ensure early recognition and fair treatment of those with disabilities.